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Some background first: I graduated from one of the top universities in the US as an Electrical Engineer a couple years ago and have been working at a hardware company in the southwest since. I am now looking at a job in the SF Bay Area, both because I'm not too happy with my current company career growth opportunities-wise, and because my fiancé, to whom I'm getting married this September, lives there (and we agreed that's where we want to live together rather than where I am right now). For visa reasons I need to be continuously employed, e.g. I can't quit first & search for a job later in any scenario.

I've been interviewing with companies since October and made it to last round interviews with some top choices but unfortunately did not receive any offers. Recently, however, I received an offer from a company that's pretty similar to my current workplace, although potentially even worse for career growth. The compensation, location etc. is good but the company in general seems to have received poor ratings on Glassdoor (worse than my current employer), with most concerns involving company culture.

Since I would like to be able to move to the Bay Area to join my fiancé asap & before the wedding if possible, and since the hiring season (at least from what I can tell anecdotally from the # of interviews I'm getting) seems to be winding down, I'm considering taking the offer just to be able to move there and consider the job some sort of a temporary stepping stone. Since it's not what I want to be doing next career-wise, I'm thinking I would get back on the job market in the Fall and look for a better job (something in a product area I'm interested in & with better growth opportunity).

My questions then are:

  1. If start this new job now & I go back on the job market later this year (e.g. in the Fall), is it a problem to have on my resume that I've been at my job for 6mo before looking for a new job? If they ask about it, do you think my explanation would be satisfying?
  2. If it is indeed a problem, how long do you think I would have to stay at this job before the amount of time I've been there stops being a problem during my next job search?
  3. In general, does this sound like a good plan / would you recommend some other strategy?
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    @JoeStrazzere unfortunately temp/contract work is not an option due to visa restrictions. – duckling Mar 11 at 18:46
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is it a problem to have on my resume that I've been at my job for 6mo before looking for a new job?

No. Not if it's a one time event.

If they ask about it, do you think my explanation would be satisfying?

Yes, but only if you phrase it carefully. In essence you are not negotiating in good faith since you take a job that you actually don't want. Taking the job as a lifestyle choice is perfectly acceptable. Phase it as "growing culture differences" , give some examples and explain why none of this applies to the company you are interviewing with.

how long do you think I would have to stay at this job

Six months is fine if it's a one time event with a good story.

In general, does this sound like a good plan / would you recommend some other strategy?

There is some risk. You may be stuck in this job longer than you want. You may have a miserable daily work experience. Cost of living in the bay area is outrageous and in my experience, the higher compensations don't make up for it.

At the end of the day this is a deeply personal decision that you and your partner have to figure out looking at risk to financials, career, relationship, and general quality of life.

This being said: Congrats on your upcoming wedding and best of luck !

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You do what you have to do, work is just a revenue stream not your life if you're getting married. Job hopping is not one stint of 6 months, it's a trend of short job terms over years, so I wouldn't worry about that.

As for the rest, it's just business.

You don't give an explanation implying that you just used your employer to move around without endangering your visa status, you just use a normal generic excuse if you are even asked.

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    Solid answer. I needed a few jobs to learn my own preferences with regards to team composition and company culture. No hiring manager will begrudge you a learning experience. For all they know, OP might mesh well with the company culture. And if they don't - that is often times difficult to judge in advance and a legitimate reason for leaving. – MvZ Mar 10 at 14:44
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  • #1: No, as a hiring manager, I do not look at 5 or 6 months as an issue, as long as it's an exception. Since you were at your current job for 2 years, and you have a good reason, not really an issue.

  • But it's in how you phrase it. "This is not quite the trajectory i was wanting for my career, but i'm very thankful for companyX and the job it provided because it allowed me to move and be with my wife,"

  • #2: 1.5 years is always safe. But again, a single 6 month stint at a company is not a problem and is kind of expected when there is a move involved for a spouse.

  • #3: For the exact reason you specify, it is ok. But, NO!!! I would not! Austin (and Dallas and Phoenix...) are already too expensive. Why do you want to move to San Francisco? Unless the two of you are making significantly more than 350k per year, for now, the southwest is a lot more affordable and will allow you to put money towards investing and retirement.

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